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Locksmithing/combo lock on remington rand filing cabinet


I have a Remington rand fireproof 4 drawer filing cabinet.  It has a 4 number combination.  We are having a problem getting it open.  What is the "trick" to getting it open.  Yes, it is mine, and yes I have the combination written down.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Marisa,

There is no "trick".   In general there are ONLY three reasons a safe lock will not open - in order they are:
1.   Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors.
2.   Incorrect combination, wrong numbers
3.   Mechanical problems.

Chances are, assuming that you have the correct combination, you are simply making a dialing error.   As you didn't provide me with the combination that you are working with, I can't look at it to see what errors you might be making.   The correct dialing sequence should be:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops (possibly your fourth number.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.    For instance if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the FOURTH time the number 50 arrives at the index mark.

Hopefully this helps, if not I will need more info, and/or you may need to have the lock checked out by a safe technician from a local safe company - NOT a locksmith.

Also, as this container is possibly 60 + years old, you may have some lock issues.    Mechanical problems generally require hands on diagnostics and repairs.  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2014 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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